Tuesday, May 4th, 2004


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CYNTHIA TURNER’S
CYNOPSIS


05/04/04

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, May 4, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing, from the NCTA Conference in New Orleans.

NCTA – an annual conference where cable networks show their wares, and new cable nets are announced.  This year is no different.  Get out your scorecard and take a look at just a partial list of new cable networks who are making their preparations to launch, some with more definite launch dates than others:  Black Belt Network, The Boxing Channel, Career Entertainment Network, CGTV (Casino Gambling Television), EdgeTV, ImaginAsian TV, Gospel Music Channel, Hustler TV, Realty Central, Shalom TV, WorldAsia Network, Wine Network, Q Television, Hype TV, Martial Arts Channel and Southern Entertainment TV, among others.  In the days ahead, as launch dates for each are solidified, we’ll take a closer look at each of them.  Other networks which have launched in the past 12-24 months or so include names you may – or may not – be familiar wit, depending on their current carriage:  NFL Network, TV One, Reality TV, The Tennis Channel, CSTV (College Sports Television), Fuel, here!TV, HorseRacing TV, Sportsman Channel, GolTV, Anime Channel, not to mention all the HD and en Espanol extensions of long standing networks. 

FX has renewed The Shield (Fox/Sony) for a fourth season with an order for 15 new eps.  Season #4 should kick off in early 2005.

Tonight’s Season Finales:  The Guardian at 9pm on CBS
Tonight Season Premieres:   Al Filo de la ley (At the Edge of the Law) at 9pm on Univision

According to The Independent (UK), BBC will launch a new initiative called IMP, which stands for Internet Media Player, wherein 500 of the corporate staff members of the BBC will be permitted to download BBC programming to their PCs or PDAs, for viewing when convenient.  The idea, which comes from Ashley Highfield, Director/Media and Technology, is simple:  “If we don’t enter this market, then exactly what happened to the music industry could happen to us, where we ignore it, keep our heads in the sand and everybody starts posting the content up there and ripping us off.”  Following the in-house staff pilot program, BBC will launch an external test of 1000 people providing access to downloadable programs one week after they’ve aired on television.  The goal is to find out what %, if any, of those 1000 watch shows they weren’t watching on television before, change their viewing habits in any way.  According to Highfield, if this test proves this manner of watching television programs is one that consumers want, then “we’re going to have to take [it] seriously … and how we start to roll this out widely.”

A&E Television Networks announced the east coast phase of the analog to digital feed conversion for all A&E and History Channel affiliates.  The west coast phase was finished in 2003.  The History Channel will go first by September 2004 with an expected finish by the year’s end.  Fall 2005 is the projected completion time for A&E’s conversion.  A&E will give its affiliates a complimentary Scientific-Atlanta® PowerVu® digital satellite receiver.  The network hopes that the conversion will provide them with an enhanced signal and new revenue opportunities.

Outdoor Channel will launch a separate network in July 2005 called Outdoor Channel 2 HD, offering programming both shared with Outdoor Channel and independent of O.C., all entirely aired in high-definition.   The network’s HD production schedule kicked in during the fourth qtr of 2003.  The Outdoor Channel is available in 26 million US cable and satellite homes.

24/7 cable network Stand-Up Comedy Television set to launch in January 2005, has cleared Inside the Comedy Mind (distributed by Television Syndication Company).  The 30m series hosted by Alan King features one-on-one intvs with some of the best and funniest people in the biz including Robin Williams, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks and George Carlin. There are a total of 65 episodes, all originally taped and aired in 1991-92.

Have you ever watched C-SpanDo you find it useful?  Rumor had it that some general managers would prefer a more exciting and revenue producing network instead of the public service channel as CableWorld published in a March feature article.  However, a Pew Research study conducted in January with Princeton Survey Research Associates showed viewers were pointing in a different direction.  Thirty-one percent of those interviewed watched C-Span sometimes with 12% viewing the network on a regular basis.  One quarter of the viewers were over 65 years young.  Even though the majority of younger viewers viewed less, they still believed that C-Span was valuable or useful for the US (64%).  And, believe it or not, the percentage of regular viewers was evenly split between men and women.

TV One has upped its carriage deals to include a corporate deal with Insight Communications.  Insight’s Louisville and Metro Southern Indiana cable system launched TV One on April 7 adding 250,000 new expanded basis subscribers.  The MSO will also add another 150,000 expanded basic cable customers in to other markets by the end of June, and expects to add TV One to a significant portion of its remaining MSO’s customers within the next 12 months.  Insight Communications serves Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

Elsewhere at Insight Communications, the MSO has entered into an agreement to distribute the Anime Network as a 24/7 network on its digital tier in several markets.  This is the first 24/7 deal for the all anime channel, which is the only network to ever launch from a video-on-demand services.

Starz Encore Group signed a multi-year affiliation agreement with Adelphia Communications (Adelphia) that will replace their 1997 contract.  The 2004 agreement will add Starz’s newer services to Adelphia resources.  They will include Starz On Demand, STARZ! Kids and STARZ! HD.  The two companies will work together in an effort to customize Adelphia’s programs to attract new customers and remain competitive through more flexible pricing and marketing.  Adelphia is currently the 5th largest cable tv company in the US. 

Tom Bernardin, President/Leo Burnett Worldwide & CEO/Leo Burnett USA, made two announcements. The first that Gary Topolewski, Chairman & CCO/Chemistri, the GM Motor centric unit of Burnett, had resigned to take a position BBDO (who incidentally handles the DaimlerChrysler account, on which Topolewski will work).  The second announcement, as reported by AdAge.com, is that Burnett intends to investigate the “circumstances surrounding [Topolewski’s] recruitment by BBDO.”   Last week Leo Burnett announced that Patrick Sherwood, President & CEO/Chemistri, will leave the company at the end of June, citing personal reasons.  Topolewski was to be part of the team to identify a replacement for Sherwood.

NCTA Note — William Hung is just as good a singer in person as he is on television. I knew you’d want to know. He performed in the FUSE booth.

Casting Note:  This new reality series is looking for married women – not SINGLE women this time – MARRIED women who are still thrilled to be married, but who are also looking to resurrect some of that flair of romance from the earlier days of wedded bliss. Optomen Productions wants you to nominate your husband for a romantic jumpstart.  Fill out their survey by May 14 and you may just get what you wish for. http://www.optomenusa.com/married/

NBC led the group on Sunday night with an overall 5.0/13 A18-49 according to fast affiliate ratings from Nielsen Media Research.  Fox ranked second with a 3.9/11 (overrun of NASCAR bled into primetime by a half hour), followed by ABC 3.9/11, CBS 3.0/8, WB 1.3/4.  At 7pm the NASCAR was in front on Fox with a 4.4/15 for the final 30m of the coverage.  King of the Hill at 730p on Fox earned a 3.2/10.  For the hour, Fox averaged a 3.8/13, which was good for the win over ABC’s 3.0/10 for AFHV. At 8pm ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition won the hour with a 5.3/14 (W18-34 delivered a 6.5/20, and W18-49 a 6.6/17), beating Fox’s hour of back to back Simpsons (4.5/12). CBS Cold Case came in third with a 3.1/7.  At 9pm NBC jumped out in front with the first part of their thriller disaster film: 10.5 delivering not quite  10.5 but a 7.4/17.  The second hour of the disaster film drew a healthier 8.5/21, which just goes to show – critics don’t know everything.  CBS’ film The Book of Ruth drew a 3.2/8.

Correction:  Well, USA Network would be pleased to note the number of email received here yesterday telling me the winner of Nashville Star was not the dude in the bibs and red cap, he (Matt Lindahl) actually came in third.  The winner, Brad Cotter, was a must smarter dresser, and yes, a doggone dandy singer too. Cotter actually stood out as polished and talented from the very first show, so his winning is no real surprise.

Kevin Reilly has been upped to President of NBC Television Network Entertainment, succeeding Jeff Zucker in that role. The move will add the responsibilities of daytime and late night programming and development to Kevin’s plate which already includes primetime.  He reports to Zucker, King of everything.

Betsy McGowen has been upped to SVP/GM, Kids’ WB!  Betsy will oversee series development, current programming and scheduling for Kids, reporting to Jordan Levin, Co-CEO/The WB. 

Steve Borneman was upped to Station Manager at 95.5 WPLJ FM.  Steve will be responsible for WPLJ’s programming, sales and promotion departments in addition to overseeing operations for 1560 Radio Disney.  He has worked for the station since 1989.  He will report to Mitch Dolan, President, ABC Radio Station Group, ABC Radio Division.

Annie McGuire was named Senior VP/Sales for National Cable Communications (NCC).  She will be in charge of NCC’s sales department daily operations including its political sales and sports sales divisions.  Annie will report to NCC President Greg Schaefer.  She previously worked at Greater Media as VP/Director of Sales.

Todd Tarpley has been named VP/Content and Packaging for AMC/IFC/WE Digital Media. Todd will oversee content creation and packaging for all digital products and services, including consumer and trade web sites, video on demand, digital set-top box offerings and other interactive products. He reports to Cynthia Burnell, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Digital Media for AMC/IFC/WE/WorldPicks

Sunday, May 2, 2004. Fast Affiliate Household Ratings for all Networks. Fast affiliate numbers which reflect time period data, not program data, and can change slightly once the finals come in, particularly for LIVE programming (i.e. Football). Source Nielsen Media Research. Time Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat


NBC     8.4/14  Dateline NBC 4.5/8, NBC Movie: 10.5, Part I 12.3/19


CBS     8.3/14  60 Minutes 8.2/15, Cold Case 9.0/15, Movie: The Book of Ruth 8.1/13


ABC     5.9/10  America’s Funniest Home Videos 5.0/9, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 7.5/12, Alias 5.4/8, The Practice 5.8/9


FOX     5.2/9   Nascar Race Post Race 6.4/12, King of the Hill 4.1/8, The Simpsons 5.7/10, The Simpsons 5.8/9, Malcolm Middle 4.6/7, Malcolm Middle 4.6/7    Due to the nature of live sports, Fast Nationals for FOX from 7-730p are approximate. 


WB      1.9/3   High School Reunion [r] 1.3/2, Charmed 2.4/4, High School Reunion 2.0/3


A18-49  NBC 5.0/13, FOX 3.9/11, ABC 3.9/11, CBS 3.0/8, WB 1.3/4



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The History Channel
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1886 – In Chicago’s Haymarket Square, a bomb goes off at a labor rally for an eight-hour workday. Eight anarchists are later put on trial. Despite a remarkable lack of evidence, seven are sentenced to death. Three are executed, one commits suicide in prison, and the other three are eventually pardoned.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question courtesy of Frank Hagan-Termite Art/LA:  What TV family lives at 31 Spooner Street? THE GRIFFINS on FAMILY GUY.  Kudos to:  Hank Bordowitz-The Bordowitz Media Werx/NY; Erik Wiener-NBC/NY; Matt Denerstein-Mindshare/NY; Juan Gonzalez-KNVA/Austin; Craig Waldschmidt-Tower Media Adv/Chicago; Amanda Kilman-The Journal Record/Oklahoma City; Russ Talley-Turner/LA; Bryan Howard-Fox Television/LA; Cary Miller-Verance/LA; Coleen Raymann-DirecTV/El Segundo.


A MESSAGE FROM WE: WOMEN’S ENTERTAINMENT


Real life.  Real singles.

We’ve checked out the dating scenes from Manhattan to Vegas, and this year we’re taking our hip reality series Single In … to new cities for even more dating adventures. It’s real. It’s relevant. And it’s exactly where you want to be.

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Today’s Trivia Question: According to an Opinion Research Corporation study, who was named TV Mom Closest to your Mom in Spirit? click here to respond to the trivia question and please be sure to include with your answer your name, company, city and time zone. Only the second four correct responses from each time zone will be listed in tomorrow’s kudo list.)

Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
05/04/04  3:55am CT
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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT: TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2004


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COURT TV:       The I-Zone, Forensic Files, The Investigators
ABC             8 Simple Rules, 8 Simple Rules [r], According to Jim, Less Than Perfect, NYPD Blue
CBS             Navy NCIS, The Guardian [season finale], Judging Amy
FOX             American Idol, 24
NBC             Frasier, Frasier, Frasier, Scrubs, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
PAX             AFV, AFV, Early Edition, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             One on One, All of Us, Rock Me Baby, Girlfriends [r]
WB              Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill
TELE            Prisonera, El Alma Herida, Mujeres Apasionadas
UNIV            Mariana de la Noche, Bajo la Misma Piel, Al Filo de la ley [p]

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